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The Purpose & Wisdom of a Rebuke

The goal of a rebuke is to correct that which is coarse and incorrect. That's it. 

There's your sticky way to remember: "What's a biblical rebuke?" The goal is to course correct that which is coarse: hardened by sin, and incorrect: doctrine, behaviors, bring them back. How do we do that? We do that in relation. Pastor Terence will eventually cover these Proverbs.--"Do not correct a scoffer lest he hate you." There's something about mockers and scoffers. They're not going to heed rebukes. The fool is not going to heed discipline. Watch what happens, "A rebuke to a wise man and he will love you all the more." What? Do you want to be wise, as Pastor Terrance teaches us out of the Book of Proverbs?

If you want to be wise, you have to be teachable. You have to be willing to take constructive criticism. As a former professional athlete, you only got better if you were willing to open up your life to correction and constructive criticism that sometimes was harsh. But if you understood it was for your good: Proverbs 12:1 "Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid" and just when I thought that the word stupid was not a good word that my children should hear, the Bible goes and messes that up.
Proverbs 15:32 "He who disdains instruction despises his own soul, but he who heeds rebuke, gets understanding." Now you're sensing in Proverbs there's this book of wisdom, a man to man relationship, and how we're to heed when correction comes.

Learning From Life's Rebukes

Let me say, do not rebuke a rebuke without reviewing the rebuke. 

All of us have examples in our life when somebody told us hard truth, the foolish thing to do is shut down immediately and discount what was said. I would even say, as a mature believer, you can even take somebody throwing bricks at your life and take them and use them as building stones, because there's something to learn from almost everything said. Do not rebuke a rebuke without at least reviewing the rebuke.

Not too long ago, my three-year-old son was coming down the steps. He had a question that he wanted to ask his Daddy. The question: "Can I have chocolate milk?" My response: "Did Mommy say you can have chocolate milk?" His response: "Yes." My response: "Are you lying?" His response: "Yes."

Now, in this moment, I either have the most honest sinner in all of the world, or he doesn't know what a lie is.

So I, in this moment, want to show Ezekiel what a lie is. So I had to check his cognitive abilities. I had a bag of M&Ms in front of me, so I grabbed one. I said, "Zekey, did Daddy grab an M&M?" and he said, "Yes." Okay, he at least is aware of me grabbing an M&M. I put my hand back in the bag and drew nothing in my hand. And I said, "Zekey, dad Daddy grab an M&M?", and he said, "No!" So now he's tracking, whether I grab one or don't grab one. So the next thing I do is I grab an M&M and I say, "Zekey, did Daddy grab an M&M?",and he said, "Yes." And I said, "Okay, let's do it again. But this time you ask me if I have an M&M." So I grabbed the M&M and he goes, "Do you have an M&M?", and I said, "No." I said, "Am I lying to you?" And he kind of got confused, so let's do it again. "Ask me if I grabbed an M&M." I grab one. "Do you have an M&M, Dad?" I said, "No!" And he goes, "You lied. You need to go to jail!"

Clearly, my children have no idea where Daddy's been.

Embracing Rebuke For Spiritual Growth

But you know what? If that was a real scenario, the rebuke was right. Daddy would have lied, and there should have been consequences. Something as cute as that scenario, I'm saying, if we truly love, we will truly correct. We will truly look out for each other's spiritual development. We'd be willing to accept the consequences of when we're out of line. This is part of being a mature Christian. A lot of times we don't heed the rebukes that come our way because our feelings are hurt. We shut down, we clam up, we can't hear truth because our feelings are speaking louder than the truth. So here's a gentle rebuke for all of us:

Do not let hurt feelings hinder the reproof that was meant to help your faith.

Do not let hurt feelings hinder the reproof or rebuke that was intended to help your faith. Did you know that all Scripture is given by the breath of God, the inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof?

What's the Word of God profitable for? Rebuke! Reproof is bringing us back to conviction, it's profitable for correction. When we're out of line or out of order -- the Word of God.

You know, I have an advantage, not only in the pulpit, but when I'm doing counseling, when you're dealing with very difficult scenarios. The advantage for the minister, and you're a minister, is pulling people back to the standard of God's Word. Yeah, they may get offended or they may be in their feelings, but you're able to go in your own mind and go, "You know, they're not mad at me as much as they're mad at what God's Word says." So I bring it back to the standard or the authority of God's word. That's the rebuke.

Let me say this: A rebuke is not keeping score. "I'm right. You're wrong." A rebuke is pushing you closer to the Lord, not keeping score. That's not the goal. The goal is to push you closer to the Lord.

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This study was pulled from one of our sermons.

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